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Thousands in Norwich could get £50m better broadband boost

CityFibre is planning a £50m investment to install full fibre broadband to 100,000 homes and properties in Norwich. Pic: CityFibre.

CityFibre is planning a £50m investment to install full fibre broadband to 100,000 homes and properties in Norwich. Pic: CityFibre.

CityFibre

Close to 100,000 homes and businesses in Norwich could have access to better broadband because of a £50m scheme to install fibre optic cables across the city.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor.Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Jeff Taylor.

Norwich City Council is working with London-based CityFibre to install a full fibre broadband network, which would cover 97,000 homes and commercial properties.

CityFibre says full fibre services can give speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second, near unlimited bandwidth and improved reliability.

Bosses at City Hall say, with more businesses and workers having switched to home working because of coronavirus lockdown and discovering it is feasible, that trend is likely to continue.

They say it is essential that action is taken to continue to improve broadband speeds and the level of digital connectivity across Norwich.

The council says a full fibre network would bring a “significant boost” to the economy and fits the council’s plans to help the city recover from the impact of coronavirus.

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Alan Waters, leader of the city council, said: “Norwich is an amazing city for people to live, work in and enjoy.

“The successful cities of the future will need to be digitally connected so that everyone can take advantage of the benefits that brings.

“As the regional capital, Norwich needs to be on the front foot. There is a really exciting opportunity and we need to welcome it.”

CityFibre is already investing at least £14m in Lowestoft to replace ageing copper-based networks with gigabit-capable full fibre connectivity and is keen to carry out similar work in Norwich.

Charles Kitchin, CityFibre’s city manager for Norwich, said: “We are looking forward to bringing gigabit-capable full fibre connectivity to Norwich.

“Our network will transform, and future-proof, Norwich’s digital landscape, standing the city in good stead for future investment and growth.”

It would take two-and-a-half years to complete the work, which is due to start at the end of this year. It is intended that the first homes and buildings will go live with full fibre in June next year.

Figures released by the House of Commons showed some parts of the city ranked in the bottom 30pc in the country for access to what is defined as ‘decent broadband’.


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